NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season starts with a doubleheader on Wednesday featuring the Washington Capitals vs. the Boston Bruins at 7:30 p.m and the San Jose Sharks vs. the Anaheim Ducks at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Now, I’m not the only one to notice this, but one might argue that it says a lot about how the media around the Oilers works. One night, many media members wonder why you can’t criticize Connor McDavid for turning the puck over. The next, they seem to be getting legitimately antagonistic about the idea of people laughing at an absolutely astounding own-goal.
McDavid: *has a few giveaways* Edmonton media: “He is killing this team and it’s disgusting.” Kris Russell: *literally scores the GWG against his own team* Edmonton media: “Whomst among us hasn’t been there?”
I totally agree, but allow me to play the devil’s advocate: you’re also not human if you don’t gasp and/or laugh at that mistake.
Think of it as that moment when you or a friend bangs their head against a car door or other hard object. Unless you’re some kind of lizard-person, you’ll ask if that friend is OK, but you’ll probably do so while unsuccessfully holding back laughter.
Yes, it’s true that you can admire Russell’s willingness to answer questions right after that mistake …
One of Russell’s better games as an Oiler other than that tough play at the end. Was sitting in his stall waiting for the media and answered all the questions.
But you can still shake your head in disbelief on that actually happening, and maybe take a shot at the Oilers’ shoddy management in the process. Because, really, sports are as much about entertainment as anything else.
We might as well fine-tune that entertainment and remember that human beings are involved the whole way.
(Looks suspiciously at MLB’s strike zone bots.)
Oh, and in other Oilers news, the team claimed Nathan Walker, the NHL’s first Australian player, off of waivers from the Washington Capitals. So, Edmonton has a reason to say “crikey” even beyond that own-goal.
–The Pittsburgh Tribune looks at five things we’ve learned from Pittsburgh’s early struggles. The issues they have this year aren’t the same as last year’s. (Pittsburgh Tribune)
–Earlier this season, Mark Streit and the Montreal Canadiens parted ways after a short time together. Now, the Swiss defenseman has announced his retirement from professional hockey. (Swisshockeynews.ch)
–ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski lists the 15 scariest goalie masks in NHL history. Gary Bromley would’ve received my vote, but he finished second on the list, while Rangers goalie Gilles Gratton was number one. (ESPN.com)
—Steve Mason added some spooky details to his new goalie mask. The Jets goalie has some of his teammates as zombies pictured on his new lid. (NHL.com)
—Brian Boyle is getting ready to return to the Devils lineup for the first time since being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. How will New Jersey use him? “Eventually, with a guy like him, you’ve just got to put him in. He’s done all the rehab, all the individual skates and now he’s had some consecutive practices. As long as he reacts well, we’re going to put him in soon.” (northjersey.com)
–Predators backup goalie Juuse Saros had a good season between the NHL and AHL last season, but he’s really come out of the gate slowly this year. Keep in mind, he’s still 22 years old, so there’s no need to panic just yet. (predlines.com)
–The Sabres have a four-day break in the schedule, which should give them an opportunity to clean up parts of their game. “We’re tied with the most games played up to this point. So it’s a good time to get a break, a good time to change the mood after a disappointing loss (Saturday) and just try to reset and get fresh for the week ahead,” said head coach Phil Housley. (buffalohockeybeat.com)
—Nathan Walker was one of Washington’s best players in training camp. Unfortunately for him, that hasn’t given him much of an opportunity to play this season. Barry Trotz’s explanation as to why he’s not playing Walker also doesn’t really add up. (russianmachineneverbreaks.com)
–Team USA hockey player Meghan Duggan shares her musical play list with ESPN.com. There’s some Krewella, OneRepublic and even some Rihanna on there. (ESPN.com)
–On the flip side, The Score looks at four players that are off to great starts in their new cities. Patrick Marleau is off to a nice start with the Maple Leafs and Mike Smith has been solid between the pipes for Calgary. (The Score)
–There are so many different ways for a young player to make it to the NHL, but there isn’t just one way. Hannah Stuart looks at the different ways that hockey players can develop into regular NHLers. (fanragsports.com)
No doubt about it, Alex Ovechkin‘s hat trick (-plus) was the standout achievement of the Washington Capitals’ 6-1 drubbing of the Montreal Canadiens.
It wasn’t the only moment that made you really check the history books, and in this other case, it creates a new entry.
Nathan Walker, the first Australian born player to be drafted, played in his first NHL game. And in that first NHL game, he also managed his first goal. Watch the goal in the video above this headline.
As a reminder, Walker shares the night with Ovechkin. The all-world sniper enjoyed back-to-back games (actually, periods) with hat tricks and ended the night with seven goals in two games. (More about that here.)